Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bar Exam Behind, Results on the Horizon

The bar exam is over. Great job, everybody! I hope you're not reading this post, fretting over your answer to an essay or random MBE question. You should be enjoy the light in August. Get outside!

Anyway, here's a quick recap of what we saw on the Virginia bar exam. Nothing unusual to report; the exam was very tough but fair. We saw many of the usual suspects: Virginia Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, Sales, Agency, Local Government, Real Property, Criminal Law, Corporations, Professional Responsibility, Commercial Paper, and Secured Transactions. Other than the absence of Wills or Trusts, this mix of subjects was about as typical as it gets in the Commonwealth. Heavy emphasis on Tier 1 and Tier 2 subjects, and a couple Tier 3 subjects to keep things interesting. On the short answers, half were low-hanging fruit and half were impossibly detailed. Totally normal.

The MBE was a mirror of what we saw in February. Equally tough but fair, and the Civil Procedure questions remained fairly straightforward.

As late-October nears, the waiting game for results will gradually get worse.  Try not to think about the exam, the results, or what will happen if you don't pass. Literally, try to forget about all of it. It's out of your control now. Every time, I encourage students to follow my advice. Every time, most don't listen. And I get why; we've all been there. In many ways, waiting for results is harder than prepping for the exam. Just remember to keep this thing in perspective: Nobody's dying here. It's just a tough exam.

If any of you have any other questions or concerns while you wait for results, feel free to contact me. In the meantime, enjoy the waning days of summer.  


  1. Hi, I enjoyed reading your posts about the bar while I was studying for the exam, very informative, and helped me feel better about which materials I was emphasizing while studying (not the same emphasis that my bar prep class suggested, they'd have had me do about twice but probably have been no better prepared).

    I have a question now about scoring. The essay portion's median scaled score is based on the MBE's median scaled score, right? My question is, when they calculate the median MBE, do they use the national average, or the Virginia average? I would assume that it is the national average, but some people from early states have been reporting median MBE scores that are different from each other, making me think that the score that Virginia uses may be different than the national median.

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